2020 Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to our candidates for the 2020 Design Records Section Election. Below, please find the candidate biographies and statements of interest. The open positions this year are:

  • Junior Co-Chair
  • Steering Committee Member
Ballots will be distributed by SAA staff in the coming weeks. An announcement will be made once the ballot opens.

Junior Co-Chair:

Moira O’Connell-Morganstein, Facilities Archivist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Biography and Candidate Statement:

“I am the Facilities Archivist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a lone arranger, I work on all aspects of the collection from intake and documentation, to strategic planning and ensuring the preservation of the collection for the future. Past and ongoing projects include re-digitizing older scans with better quality images, conducting large scale data cleanup in our database, enacting measures to improve data standards going forward, and assessing and fine-tuning our intake process to ensure quality data is collected and made available to Facilities users. I hold a Master of Science in Library Science and Archival Management from Simmons College (now University), and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Temple University. I have been a member of the New England Archivists for several years and I served on the Communication Committee  from 2015 – 2017.

I am interested in improving access to and providing long term storage for complicated digital design records. As many in this field know, these records are formed on a number of different design platforms and by a diverse group of creators. I am also interested in ways we as repositories can enhance our ability to communicate with the records creators and demonstrate the value in these collections, and how they can be used. What are ways we can improve the handoff from the creator to the repository? How can we best document design records so that they remain accessible and useful for future users? How can we effectively use these documents to tell stories that engage people within the industry but also from outside of it – working with museums, students, or societies to add life to these records. I am interested in joining this section as a junior co-chair to engage more fully with the profession, learn from colleagues, and help others find resources and assistance as our profession moves toward the future.”

Steering Committee Member:

Alexa Hagen, Archivist, Herman Miller, Inc.

Biography and Candidate Statement:

“I joined Herman Miller as Archivist in September 2019. The collection is extremely unique, especially in a corporate setting. It documents the company’s long history of collaboration with some of the 20th century’s most influential designers including Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Alexander Girard. Materials range from works of graphic design to architectural drawings to film and video. 

Before starting at Herman Miller, I spent two years as a Project Archivist at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library developing workflows for born-digital and audiovisual materials. Prior to that, I was Assistant Archivist at the Milton Glaser Design Study Center & Archives at the School of Visual Arts. I received an M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information and hold a B.A. in Art History from Knox College, Galesburg, IL.

In my career thus far, I have been very lucky to work with a variety of design records. They are especially exciting to me because of their varied form and rich content. Both of which lend a complexity to their stewardship that presents archivists with unique challenges and opportunities for ensuring their preservation and access. As a member of the Design Records Section Steering Committee, I hope to share my enthusiasm and experience with the group, the SAA community, and the larger design community.”